A super low employment rate sounds great, right up until you need to hire someone to wash dishes. Or bus tables.
Then, not being able to find employees can drag on your business.
It’s happening in restaurants all over the state, says Wisconsin Restaurant Association President and CEO Kristine Hillmer.
“We have a lot of restaurant members who are trying to figure out how they can stay open and manage their food service to all their customers in a timely and quality basis, when they are down staff,” Hillmer said.
Hillmer says many of her members have resorted to shutting down some days. Cutting back on hours open on others. And getting really creative with recruiting. Which is just part of the equation.
“Just as important as recruiting, it’s keeping the staff that you have,” Hillmer said. “And, one of the things that we are helping our restaurants understand, is that, throughout the state, restaurants are doing some unique things to retain their staff.”
Hillmer’s organization gives its members advice on how to recruit workers and how to creatively retain the ones they have.
Hillmer predicts the labor shortage issue for restaurants will continue for the foreseeable future
“I do not see an end in sight at this time,” she said. “I think it’s going to be something that we’re going to be faced with for quite some time.”
Hillmer says boosting minimum wage isn’t the answer to the labor shortage. She says those who excel tend to quickly demand higher wages in the business or move up to higher paying positions.